Saturday, February 9, 2013

February poems

Early February, a Friday

I’ve got the day of the week right,
but can’t yet affix the correct number to it.

High clouds ride invisible winds,
streamed snatches of blue sky, rippled shadows
tracing the roughened face of the rain-soaked earth.

Dreams of names and of numbers
hold no more sway, yet none less here
than bird song or early buds.

Let them unfold in the music
that’s their very own, that carries them
all their way through.


…and bow…

They’re called “wall flowers,”
San Francisco region natives

that dot upper slopes
from early spring, or before,

when runs of warm clear days
break winter rains.

Four broad petals, innocent

as a child’s fingers might make,

to soft yellow,
and a startling burst

of floral aroma
that says,

to only the closest nose:

that which seems
most unassuming, may be a signal

to slow down,
to bow.


“Everywhere is the silencing
of ideas. That is Buddha.”

                           Thich Nhat Hanh

Wanting, in the morning quiet
of my study, to follow this,

and your voice speaks my name,
sets down the book, closes…


February first

The resonance of chimes emerges
from the peripheral silence,

presence alone speaking everything
of consequence,

before and after resting
right here in the pulse-beat of our veins.

Mythical vows of antiquity remembered
as if our own,

the gentle sadness and the joy
at having nothing, grants everything.


These winter mornings, the moon
stays high,

setting slow in the west
well after light arrives.

Night’s dew too,


For David and Kaji

We swarm, we humans, we gather like gnats
in afternoon sunlight along the trail,
old friends and new

sharing stories of suffering and of healing,
here on the warm slopes
of the mountain.

                Buckeye Canyon, 1/30/13


A tinge of normal
returns to our world. Once again,
you correct me.


Nanao Sakaki:

Turn off
the street lights

moon and stars

jump out
in all their glory!


The heart, trusted

like morning’s incense,
suggests a newness akin

to the shift from night to day,
returning remembrance wherein

nothing’s forgotten,
a turning over within

ever-arching horizons
of timelessness,

almost incomprehensibly tender.